PDD MC test strategy (marked and unanswered)?

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    David Kaplan

    Jon,

    I think if it works for you, you should definitely go for it.  It makes sense to do it this way from a grouping perspective, and it might help you with time management.  The only thing I would caution you on is if you find yourself marking too many questions (i.e. you're finding that there's way too many that you're not positive about) you might find yourself in sort of a panic and lose grasp of the situation.

    I think give it a shot.  If this is your first 5.0 exam (true?), just remember going into it that this format is different from what did during 4.0 and if you find yourself in a quandary, give yourself a couple seconds and maybe take a look at one of those math questions.  Might help you break out of a funk.

    Best of luck sir!

     

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    Katherine Loecken

    I would agree with Jon - If it works for you, great! Many people run out of time, so it all depends on how efficient you can be in your round 1. I usually only answer mark questions I am confident I can figure out with more time. If there is one that I'm like...WTF I have no idea, I just guess and move on. Of course I haven't done PDD yet...so tbd. 

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    Kevin Griendling

    Hi John,

    If you consider all of the time limit issues candidates are experiencing on this exam, you should seek ways to limit unused time. Marking and passing questions is a waste of time. The best advice I have given candidates over the years is to read every question and mark your gut answer, and if you're not 100% certain of the answer, mark for review. Do this for every question. Even if you don't calculate it, mark a response and mark it for review. You'll find that most mathematical questions are simple arithmetic, and you can solve it in less than 30 seconds. That should mitigate the pressure of the math questions when you return to all of your marked for review items later.

    During this round 1, you should not spend more than 10-15 seconds deliberating. You either know it or your don't.

    Your second round is where you analyze the question carefully, and each response deliberately to filter out the wrong answers and find the best response.

    If you have more than maybe 60% of the questions marked after round 1 you likely were not sufficiently prepared for the exam.

    Hope this helps,

     

    Kevin Griendling, AIA

    www.pluralsight.com

    www.paramarch.com

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    Jonathan Chertok (Edited )

    hi guys,
    thanks a bunch. i think i mis-phrased the question.
    i basically intend on doing this on a retake of PDD. what i think i am hoping for is some advice on the /mechanics/ of how to make this work properly. basically i started doing this part way through PPD (i.e. i started by marking ALL questions as REVIEW) but then switched to simply /skipping/ MATH questions because they involved too much math. so i had a mishmash.
    then the system crashed and i ended up sitting for 15 minutes trying not to think about my first exam being pushed back two months with the usual attendant various and sundries. then i got back in and finished the MC questions AND the review of /marked/ with /tons/ of time left before i took a break for CASE STUDIES (so i basically forgot i had also some UNMARKED questions).
    when i returned after a ten minute break (realistically you have 10 minutes of sitting time) i had a moment where i was trying to figure out how to get to the case studies.
    and i guess i clicked on REVIEW UNMARKED (? - is this how you get to the CASE STUDIES after taking a break?!) - and to my horror saw about ten to twelve questions i had flat out skipped. so i had to do these before getting to the case studies.
    then when i went and took PDD there were so many crashes it was almost impossible to even remember how i did things except i do remember skipping - like not marking for review and just skipping - and then going back for the MATH questions in MC. 
    so i would like to have a strategy that will work. but now that i think about it i guess i can test this on the practice software!?
    i test very well and almost always find the time to review MC questions (and find it very productive). part of what i find so problematic is the “broken up” nature of this exam though. at least in 4.0 you knew you were going into the vignettes after doing MC questions.
    5.0 is like a fun house with loud music between the different kinds (and quality) of graphics, different types of mouse selections, odd UI buttons and locations, different highlight behavior between MC and CASE STUDIES (i guess), computational questions thrown in, mixed content, “references available when testing” and then the user interface (i use the term loosely) for the case studies.
    basically i would like to /order/ the MC questions and don’t find skipping the math ones to take up time. then putting on my “math hat” and doing them all at once seems to work for me.
    one practical note while looking for practical help: i /don’t/ take time to UNMARK questions. if i am not 90% sure i mark as neede to review. if i have time for a second review i madly dash through all of them only spending time on the ones i am not sure of.
    another item please while i am here? anyone remember when HIGHLIGHTING is retained?! i rely heavily on highlighting when reviewing. with all the fun i can’t remember - highlighting is retained for MC questions but not for the 20 multiple choice questions?!
    THANKS and apologies for the long post.

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    Benjamin Marcionek

    Hi Johnathan. If this works for you, stick to it. My method is to create three columns on the back of the scratch paper. "Round 1" = Calculations left blank or WTF questions. "Round 2" = Guessed so double check. And "Round 3" = If I have time. In each column I write down the number of the question and a short description. This allows me to know which questions are which when going back to review marked questions. Otherwise your blindly going through them in an order that is not really your priority. I also never leave any MC unanswered on the first round. A guess is still better than nothing if you run out of time. Hope this helps and best of luck on your next  attempt.

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    Jonathan Chertok (Edited )

    hi guys
    i wasn’t very clear. actually i am realizing this is probably because i’m not clear myself. i was trying to see if i could “crowd source” this strategy to see IF it works as a practical matter.
    the problem is that i started in PPD by /marking/ the math questions and skipping, then there was a 15 minute crash. then i went back in and somehow started /skipping/ math questions in MC. then i got to the end of MC and somehow checked “Review Marked” like i normally do and CAREFULLY went through some MC /reviews/ and must have had one or two math problems that i had to work from scratch.
    then i took a break with plenty of time to spare. then i got back to case studies after the computer had restarted - and i guess i clicked “Review Unanswered” (?!) to try to get to the 20 case studies questions?(!). i don’t even remember what i did but IS this what you are supposed to do to get back to case studies? it like throws you back to some blank screen after you hit “Break” and then you go to "Review Unanswered" to move into Case Studies?
    i guess i was just trying to “colleague proof” this strategy. for me it seemed like it would make a lot more sense instead of chopping up the exam like it is.
    i subsequently took PDD but the lags and crashes and black drawings were such a nightmare it is impossible to get anything out of it except as a “travel practice” dry run for trying to navigate 15,000 sf drawings in that tiny computer screen with the funky pan. mane it is me but no amount of practice on the software is going to make that normal.

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    Jonathan Chertok (Edited )

    “blindly going through them”. lol.
    actually you bring up a good point.
    i never check “Reviewed” to take a question /off/ a “Mark Reviewed” list. i always review questions once very deliberately, just click “Next” and if i have time i i quickly review them /all/ a second time but i skip quickly through ones i remember as being likely correct. or if it is a "50-50" question where i know no amount of considering it is going to matter i skip quickly through that one too.then i actually cram in a third review if i really have time.
    it was like a pinball machine for me in PPD. i wasn’t thinking about a crash going in (so heads up to all you professional candidates) and i got totally thrown when it seemed like it was possible they couldn’t continue. i couldn’t help letting my brain wander to the idea of having to retest in two months and all the massive hassle that would be involved.
    by the time i clawed my way to finishing everything i ended up "reviewing" but was just clanging around from question to question through ALL of the ones "Marked for Review". there wasn't really anything very deliberate at that point at all. lol. bing-bang “try to get this one”, skip, skip, skip. bing-a-boom “try to get that one” and so on. actually i almost walked out with an hour and a half to go and just clawed my way to the finish.

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    Kurt Fanderclai
    Funny, I'm still getting ARE email notifications about nine months after passing the ARE!...  I really don't mind.  Nine months later, I'm still feeling the good vibes.  (David K., I'm sure you agree -- we finished about the same time.)
     
    Per this thread, I'll continue to contend that over-strategizing is an easy trap to fall into.  With no vignettes, the FORM of the 5.0 exam hardly matters compared to the CONTENT.  Knowing the material is far more important than fretting over how you will be clicking on the answers.  Spin through the demo exam a couple times.  Realize that the zoom tool sucks.  That's the FORM of the exam.  Nothing more.  Waste no more time on this useless preoccupation.    
     
    I had written this a while back:
     
    Answer the first 12 questions as a warm-up -- this is 10 percent of the exam.  Don't let a tough question or two derail you.  On both PPD and PDD, my very first question was a total WTF question.  But I had the 10% running start strategy.  Most candidates will know more than they don't know.  It's a marathon, not a sprint.  Pace yourself.  Plan out time milestones.  I used 33 questions per hour, leaving 1:15 for the Case Studies.  Know where you need to be when you look at the clock.
     
    In terms of time -- do not freak out.  For sure, know that there is no time to waste, and that you need to stay on this sucker like law enforcement...  however!....Most of us fall within the "normal" expectations of exam writers.  If you need to take a little extra time on a question requiring a calculation, take that extra time.  Do not worry.  Stay calm.  Know that there are questions that literally require only about 10 or 15 seconds to answer -- which gives you the time on the longer calculations.  The easy ones balance out the tougher ones.
     
    By the time I had hit PDD and PPD, I was pursuing this sort of approach as described above.
     
    To be sure, not all will find value in my approach -- most candidates really love the idea that they are "checking their work"....what could be better, right?..."a second look -- just to be certain"....this can all seem very comforting on some level, but, statistically -- I'd have to wonder, does this approach really have much value?  Is a fly-through first pass followed by a re-check really a putting forth of all best efforts per question?  Are you somehow smarter toward the end of an exam than at the beginning?  Some are even suggesting a third pass...  
     
    For anyone that passed while employing the two and three passes approach -- great!  But, hell, why not four passes?...you want to be REALLY sure of your answers, right?!!!... hey, if you did this approach, well I'm not at all mad -- quite the opposite -- I'm glad you passed -- we should all drink a craft beer together!    
     
    So don't misunderstand me...  However, big picture -- once you've adequately studied and you've arrived at the test center, time is the only strategy that matters.  It's almost the no-strategy approach -- no extra fluff -- you've got so many questions divided into so much time -- nothing more to it -- it's just a steady grind from start to finish -- the answer you mark is your answer  -- best efforts...right now, in the moment.  
     
    Cheers!
     
    Kurt
     
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    Jonathan Chertok

    lol...

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Jonathan, all good.  I think you should continue to pursue your own methods.

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    ...your own, highly sucessful methods.
    "Lol"...

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